No, I'm not a professional writer yet, but it certainly doesn't hurt to start blogging as if I am. That is, treating this blog as a tool to reach readers and establish an audience. What exactly does this mean? I'm going to start having regular features and other such things to help get me into certain habits (such as, I don't know, posting every day). No, this does not mean my blog is going to become a dry writing rag with no personal vignettes or Drew Monster pics. I've been blogging for over three years. I'm familiar with the terrain, I'm comfortable with the medium, I'm ready to use this as the tool it can be for my writing and career. Er, at least that's the hope. Basically, when I get published, I want to be able to go live with this blog to a pro website without having to worry about how I'm going to handle the blog as a pro writer. There's enough a newbie pro has to mess with, and having a solid self-promotional tool already up and functioning as a well-oiled machine seems that it would diminish the insanity. Plus, it'll be fun for me now, and should be just as much fun for my readers, even the family members eager for those cute baby pics.
What exactly do I have planned in the way of features? I'm going to do a weekly something or other, either fun links or writing links or writing prompts or…something. Still thinking there, and I'll probably try out a couple of different ideas to get a sense of what's fun for me and my readers. I can make another weekly feature by always putting Drew posts on a particular day, probably Monday. And then there will be the themed semi-regular features. For example, I have several posts in the works about my various commutes over the years. I've been lucky enough to have primarily beautiful and traffic-free drives to work and bus rides to school, and that's given me a remarkable chance to spin stories and marvel at nature daily for a big chunk of my life. I might even include some of my walks to my primary buildings on Notre Dame's campus. Those are posts that I'll write as an exercise at the beginning of my writing nights to get the fingers and mind moving together.
The goal is to have interesting content as often as possible and to develop a routine/habit for the blog as to that content. That way, when I have my first contract in my hot little hands, I'll have a working blog ready to roll out. Something that's professional, comfortable, and me.